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Ten Interesting Things About Quiver Trees

Quiver trees or Kokerbooms are iconic to the dry, northwestern parts of South Africa and southern Namibia and make wonderful photographic specimens. We found the following facts interesting:

1 - Quiver trees have had 4 scientific names over the years: They were first called Aloe dichotoma, then Aloe arborescens, then Rhipidodendrum dichotomum, and now Aloidendron dichotomum

2 - Aloidendron is a combination of the words Aloe and Dendron and dichotomum refers to the branches repeatedly splitting into two.

3 - The name 'quiver tree' comes from the San people using hollowed out branches as quivers for their arrows. The Afrikaans name 'kokerboom' comes from the word case, casing or container, no doubt also referring to the quiver.

4 - The trees are succulents that can grow to a height of about 9m.

5 - Their roots can apparently be used to treat asthma and tuberculosis.

6 - They are protected by law in South Africa - the removing of plants from the wild or collecting of seeds without a permit is prohibited.

7 - Quiver trees are propagated mainly from seed and, with difficulty from cuttings and truncheons.

8 - Nectar that is produced by the flowers attracts sunbirds that feed on them.

9 - The flower buds are edible and, when cooked, taste like asparagus.

10 - Their bark is covered with a fine white powdery substance that helps reflect much of the sun’s heat, keeping the trees cooler in the hot and arid environment where they are found.

If you'd like to visit the quiver tree forest at Kenhardt in the Northern Cape, South Africa give Louis Steyn a call at (+27 82 570 3864).

Quiver Tree Photos

  • Image Number A1R445943. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445766. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445773. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445784. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445829. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445849. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A66P447018. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A66P447015. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445933. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445932. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445917. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445912. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445869. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A66P446993. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A66P446991. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

  • Image Number A1R445962E. Quiver tree or kokerboom (Aloidendron dichotomum formerly Aloe dichotoma) Kenhardt, Northern Cape, South Africa.

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